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Jira smart value assignee.issues

Dear reader(s),


I'm looking for a possibility to limit active tasks for assignees. We don't want that members can pull/ get pushed more issues to the kanban board than our policy allows.

This to prevent that users have to much active work (and do no get resolved).

Is there a way to check? Like

 "number( {{assingee.issues}} )" 


Best regards,

3 answers

0 votes
Jack Community Leader Dec 30, 2020

This is not possible at least OOTB and I am not immediately familiar with any addon app. Moreover I think a more appropriate approach would be to not restrict at the assignment of issues but rather at the transition based upon story points. So if you could find a way to determine the total in progress story points for a user then have a validator at the transition to In progress checking against the users total then that migh be interesting. 

Hi @tjarcoboerkoel 

As @Jack mentioned there is no straight forward way to do avoid issue assignment to users.

However there are few things that you can look at to assist you. 

When the issue is assigned to someone.

You can use automation rule to count the number of issues already assigned to this user.

Lookup issue with the following JQL (further limit the JQL to show only unresolved issues).

assignee={{issue.assignee.accountId}} AND resolution = Unresolved

Then you will be able to count those issue by using a smart value.


Now based on this number you can take further informed decision. I would suggest just adding a comment like this.

{{issue.assignee.displayName}} already has {{lookupIssues.size}} assigned unresolved issues.

To auto assign the issue using Automation

You can look at this page for more details. You can choose a group, assignment method (balanced, random and round robin) and JQL. In this case you are letting tool do the assignment for you, so I will be careful.

I hope it helps.


Hi @tjarcoboerkoel 

To suggest a non-Jira solution, what has the team done to discuss this issue and uncover reasons for this symptom? (which I am guessing is exceeding some WIP limit)  For example,

  • What pressures are there to start more work before in progress items complete? (push over pull)
  • What workflow issues exist that block work, leading to pulling more? ("I need something to do while waiting for...")
  • When batching items in releases, how do items accumulate after "ready for release" and until "released"?
  • How many requestors/sources of work are there, and are they aligned with your queue replenishment (selection) and classes of service?
  • What does the team do when someone pulls more work than agreed upon?  Do they engage in discussion at stand-up, do they ignore the issue, etc.?

Using a Jira enforced approach could prevent valid reasons for exceeding WIP, such as an expedite item.  And such exceptions might require "one-off" solutions: enforce the limit, unless the component is Expedite, and the assignee is the support on-call, and...  Plus, folks can work-around any Jira solutions, such as not assigning to themself before pulling work.

Best regards,


Hi Bill and Others,


Good question. We're a development team and at this stage we (team leaders) assign tasks to (specialized) team-members and we (team leaders) are pushing tasks from backlog to the board. This is because we're new to Jira and still have a learning curve (and old habits).

We've got a creative team and their pitfall is that they go cherry picking the nice stuff, get overloaded by tasks and don't finish any of them. They may have some amount of tasks parallelized also because of the 'waiting for' statuses, but we must prevent that they bury them themselves with their own enthusiasm.

Best regards

Hi @tjarcoboerkoel 

Thanks for the additional information, and I understand your concerns...

Yup, supporting creative teams has its own challenges in a larger organization.  Often there are limited number of people with specialized skills: researcher, UX, UI, writer, data analyst, shepherd, etc. and many/all are neeeded for the full lifecycle to finish a "feature".  And the entire creative team may be on the critical path between "management" and delivery to get value in customers' hands.

Cherry-picking items, regardless of the urgency/priority is a common issue.  Regardless of tools like Jira, education, shared understanding, leadership, and incentive practices are key helpers.  Please consider raising visibility to the team of the bigger picture of their value stream; explain "me being busy" doesn't help the whole team deliver value, and in fact slows down results.  When just one or two individuals face this challenge, consider a chat and using a personal Kanban to limit their specific work.

Best regards,


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